Covid 19 coronavirus: New restrictions rolled out as Sydney covid cluster grows

Four new Covid-19 cases in Sydney have prompted NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to introduce several restrictions relating to masks across greater Sydney, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

Sydney’s Covid-19 cluster has grown to nine, with two new local cases recorded before 8pm on Saturday, while two more community cases were recorded after 8pm (AEST) and will be officially registered in Monday’s numbers.

Masks will now be mandatory in public indoor venues – if you are not eating or drinking – if you live in or visit seven local government areas, including Randwick, Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West, City of Sydney, Waverley and Woollahra.

These activities include riding public transport, retail, theatres, visiting aged-care facilities and also for front-of-house hospitality staff.

Masks being mandatory on public transport has also been extended to Wollongong and Shellharbour local government areas because the man in his 30s who tested positive from Sydney’s CBD had also spent time in Wollongong.

“We really encourage and have been for a number of days to use masks whenever you are an indoor environments,” NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant said.

“In terms of workplaces, workplaces are usually not included except front-facing workplaces where they are in retail settings where you are in contact with the public.

“That will be clarified and we will issue a fact sheet.”

Residents are being asked to follow the new restrictions immediately, but they will be legally enforced from 4pm on Sunday.

The mask rules are scheduled to be lifted on Thursday.

“I know all of us are a bit fatigued after so many months of living with Covid but we can’t drop now,” Berejiklian said.

“We have to make sure we aren’t complacent and make sure we are complying to what we are asking you to do.

“We don’t want to extend further restrictions unless we must.”

Chant also urged testing numbers to drastically increase after only 24,000 tests were recorded overnight.

“I would like to see those numbers today exceed 30-40,000 tests,” she said.

“The quicker we can diagnose cases, the quicker we can get ahead of the transmission of this virus.

“The quicker we can get on top of this, the less restrictive if we can be. If everyone can please wear the masks. If everyone can please, even if you have the most minimal of symptoms, get tested.

“If we can all be particularly careful over the coming days, to a week, that will really assist us in managing this current situation.”

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